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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Georgetown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Francis Scott Key

 
 
Francis Scott Key Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, February 20, 2006
1. Francis Scott Key Marker
Inscription. 1779-1843. The author of our National Anthem was a lawyer, patriot, community leader and poet. His home and law office stood approximately 100 yards west of here. Francis Scott Key lived there from 1803 to about 1833 with his wife, the former Mary Taylor Lloyd of Annapolis, Maryland, and their six sons and five daughters. The house was demolished in 1947 after years of neglect by various owners.

During the war of 1812, British troops had invaded and captured Washington in August of 1814. They set fire to the Capitol, the White House and most Federal buildings. as they withdrew to their ships they took Dr. William Beanes prisoner because he had arrested some stragglers among the British troops for looting.

The popular and respected 35-year-old George Town lawyer, Francis Scott Key, came to the aid of friends seeking Dr. Beanes' release. Under a flag of truce approved by President James Madison, key set out with Colonel John Stuart Skinner, an American agent for prisoner exchange. They located the British fleet and boarded Admiral Cochrane's Royal Navy Flagship. Key successfully arranged for Dr. Beanes' release.

However, lest they reveal the British plans to attack Fort McHenry and Baltimore, they were detained under guard aboard their ship. Throughout the night of September 13-14, 1814, Key stood on deck
Francis Scott Key Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
2. Francis Scott Key Marker
watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry. At dawn Key's anxiety was relieved. Our flag was still there! Key began to compose a poem on the back of a letter.

After the release following the British defeat, Key continued to work on his poem. On the next day, he showed it to a relative, Judge Joseph Hopper Nicholson, a Fort McHenry's defender. Nicholson was so moved he immediately had broadsides of the poem printed and circulated. That poem became The Star Spangled Banner.

Francis Scott Key's law practice continued to flourish. He was three times appointed to the post of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. He was active in anti-slavery causes, advocated the establishment of public schools, negotiated a treaty in 1833 between the Creek Indians and settlers in Alabama, and was a vestryman of St. John's Church as well as a founder of Christ Church in George Town. On a trip to Baltimore in 1843, Francis Scott Key died of pneumonia on January 11 at the home of his eldest daughter, Mrs. Charles Howard. He is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery near his birthplace in Frederick, Maryland.

The high standards which guided Francis Scott Key's life continue to be an example to all Americans.
 
Location. 38° 54.287′ N, 77° 4.084′ W. Marker is in Georgetown, District of Columbia
Francis Scott Key Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, September 10, 2016
3. Francis Scott Key Marker
The marker has either been cleaned or replaced and doesn't show the previously seen graffiti.
, in Washington. Marker can be reached from the intersection of M Street, NW and 34th Street, NW, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. This marker is in the Francis Scott Key Park which is between M Street and the C&O Canal on the east side of the Key Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Star-Spangled Banner (here, next to this marker); Francis Scott Key Park (a few steps from this marker); An Industrial Georgetown (within shouting distance of this marker); Forrest Marbury House (within shouting distance of this marker); Prospect House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Exorcist Steps (about 700 feet away); Hollywood on the Potomac (about 700 feet away); The Last Home of Stephen Bloomer Balch, D.D. (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Georgetown.
 
Also see . . .  Francis Scott Key. Biography at the Maryland State Archives. (Submitted on August 21, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PersonsWar of 1812
 
Bust of Francis Scott Key image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs
4. Bust of Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 2, 2013
5. Francis Scott Key
Betty Mailhouse Dunston's 1993 bust of Francis Scott Key is the centerpiece of Francis Scott Key Park.
The Dawn's Early Light image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 6, 2016
6. The Dawn's Early Light
This 1912 painting by Edward Percy Moran hangs in the Star Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore Maryland. It is reproduced on the marker.
Francis Scott Key image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 6, 2016
7. Francis Scott Key
Detail of Percy Moran's 1912 painting "The Dawn's Early Light"
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,883 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on February 24, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   2. submitted on August 21, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   3. submitted on September 11, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   4. submitted on February 23, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   5. submitted on April 18, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on August 21, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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